Russian religious philosophers, without exception, hold the view that Christianity is not limited to morality, that the essence of Christianity is the God-man Jesus Christ himself, and once he accepts Him as God and man, we cannot but accept mystical metaphysics, with a development of which Russian religious thinkers are engaged.
By developing the doctrine of the permeability of the whole world by God (or of His omnipresence), Russian philosophers at the same time carefully distinguished themselves from pantheism. This exact observance of the boundary between the Creator and the created world stands in connection with the typical and Eastern Orthodoxy’s high appreciation of the Christian virtue “humility.” Hence the fierce struggle against any deification of man, people, order social system, in general against the absolutization of relative existence. Everything earthly is valued from the point of view of the ideal of the whole fullness of being in God on the basis of perfect love for God and creatures.
Love is a basic principle or essence of morality. The whole law of God fits into the following words: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Galatians 5:14). Love is a “royal law” (James 2: 8). Love for God obliges us to love our neighbors as well, like God, and together to learn to love God and to prove our love for Him. In the particular person we love God, and in God we love true humanity. This is the idea of true humanity. By flowing through love into humanity, ie. the kingdom of neighbors, the single person is enriched and happily fills his personal life. Christian love challenges all members of society to fraternal mutual help, requires in the individual to respect and honor his godlike personality. Thomas Aquinas’ dream of achieving the extremes of individualism and collectivism in order to achieve human solidarity is being achieved.
Religious worldview affects not only individual relationships between people, but also social construction. Vl. Solovyov promoted the idea of Christian politics, which would set itself the task of radically transforming society in the name of social justice. At the heart of non-religious humanism, which rejects the supersensible world, it tends to see true love of neighbor, but unsuccessfully combined with materialistic views.
The sad experience of the two Russian revolutions led Soloviev’s successors to believe that in the case of non-religious humanism (which, unfortunately, still roams both the countries of the post-communist East and in the countries of Western technotronic civilization) it is self-affirmation you are. An act arbitrary, which leads to the decay of the public, as Dostoevsky predicted. The only thing that reassures is that there are practical statesmen who accomplish the relative good in modern social construction without letting go of the rudder with which they steer the boat of personal and public life to the Absolute Good.
An example of this at the end of the twentieth century is the successful model of “monarcho-socialism” of the Scandinavian type and “monarcho-clerical socialism” in Spain.
The ideal of Christianity, the Kingdom of God, could not be realized within earthly life and earthly society. Today we are witnessing the invasion of the average person, of the crowd with its value stupidity. The scale of lusts, with which the ecology of the human soul struggles, is given to us in the main work of S. Bulgakov – “Evening World” (1917). In Soloviev, thought itself is stereoscopic and stereophonic, with artistic filling, voluminous thought, while in Tolstoy, for example, thoughts are embodied in living images, paintings, colors. In Soloviev’s case, the spiritual reworking of factual material is obligatory, but it is a poetic delight rather than an exposition of philosophical thought.
“Beauty will save the world,” Dostoevsky said. This true beauty is the Transfiguration of the world, the sophurgy, i.e. the ascension of man to God, which can take place only in the bowels of Christ’s Church, under the life-giving action of the constantly flowing grace of the sacraments, in the atmosphere of prayerful enthusiasm. This completion of the creation of the world takes place not in the plane of earth’s history, but in the new eon (or cosmic cycle), where the purpose of the world is to take us beyond the world to a new heaven and a new earth. Historical cataclysms are useful because they heal dangerous passions in absurdities contrary to the Lord, such as the idea of man-god, pop-god or polytheism, the driving force of which is not love or compassion, but pride and the dream of an earthly paradise. Every democracy is an idolatry because it represents self-worship on the part of the people and is ruled by myths or idols, but not by the Divine moral law. For Christians, any form of dictatorship or satrapy is not acceptable, because they represent idiolatry (worship by one person) and anti-god totalitarianism. The true system of government, as opposed to the above, is theocracy, which is the carrying out of God’s will on earth. In its purest form, theocracy in biblical history has failed because of the inability of the people to apply God’s will here on earth today. Soloviev identified the theocracy, to some extent, with the papocentric state of the Vatican. After the theocratic state in Old Testament times came the turn of the monarchical form of government.
We see a guide, a guardian of the observance of God’s decrees, in the person of the Anointed King, because the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament clearly indicate the monarchical institution as God-ordained, according to the request of all God’s people (the Jewish people were this chosen vessel, into which the graces of God flowed, and from which came the Messiah, Jesus Christ). We also see the confrontation between these two types of state power in the special devilish cruelty with which the idolatries remove at the cost of their own blood and that of their victims everything that stands in their covenant path to the destruction of the royal government established by God Himself.
Dreams of an earthly paradise, of the creation of an ideal society in the conditions of earthly relative life, and especially those which are connected with the negation of the religious foundations of existence, have been subjected to destructive criticism in many works of Soloviev’s followers: vol. EN Trubetskoy, S. Bulgakov, N. Karsavin, N. Aleksiev and others. A valuable conclusion of this critique is given by the scientific and philosophical works of the professor of law and philosophy PI Novgorodtsev – “Crisis of modern legal consciousness” (1900) and “On the social ideal” (1917). Novgorodtsev noted the typical in the early twentieth century and, moreover, for the Eastern European geopolitical and ethno-political zone bankruptcy of faith in a modern legal state perfect, the collapse of faith in socialism and anarchism, in general, the devaluation of the idea of paradise.
Vladimir Solovyov, the patriarch of the galaxy of genius minds in the brilliant constellation of Russian religious humanists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as early as 1882 recognized the philosopher Nikolai Fyodorov as his “dear teacher and comforter” and “spiritual father.” He proclaimed his doctrine of the common cause to be “the first movement of the human spirit forward in the way of Christ.” Fyodorov directs our thought to the ontological foundation of social and historical activity, to the relationship between man and his Higher ideal – God. This is the true ideal for the people of the new century, who have descended into unprecedented abysses of individual and collective evil, living on the ruins of humanism, because they have accepted man himself as an absolute. The “philosopher of common cause” tries to design a real bridge from earth to heaven, from the natural to the supernatural, in the sense of overcoming the natural and ascending to a higher nature.
One of Soloviev’s most zealous followers was Prince Eugene Trubetskoy, who took an active part in the political life of Russia in the early twentieth century. All his activities on the political scene were imbued with a desire to reconcile everything and everyone on the basis of truth and justice. This is a kind of political application of the idea of the unity of his teacher. His works are focused exclusively on uniting the people around the common cause of spiritual salvation and revival of Russia. But as he failed to realize de facto Christian socialism, abandoning his glittering political career, which the Cadet Party offered him, in his own words, because “anti-legal, anti-constitutional democracy inevitably degenerates into anarchy, which, in turn, breeds the opposite extreme or despotism.”
Many compare chiliasm to socialism. In the eighteenth century, the century of rationalism, enlightenment, skepticism, revived the ancient, Jewish chiliasm, the old faith in heaven on earth, but now in a new shell: first as political democracy (“freedom, equality, brotherhood” and human rights and the citizen ”), later as socialism. With the general secularization of life characteristic of the new history, the old Jewish chiliasm was also secularized, and in this secularized form it became socialism. In socialism we must distinguish between a “goal,” or an ideal, and a movement or a practice. The latter is the subject of political economy and realistic social policy, the former belongs to the field of faith and religious trust (in a broad sense). Socialism finds some justification in neo-paganism – or in the religion of man-god. Socialism is an apocalypse of the naturalistic religion of man-god. The latter is a religious scarcity, and therefore social-chiliasm is a simplification, a degeneration, even a denigration of the old Jewish chiliasm. Socialism is a rationalist, translated from the language of cosmology and theology into the language of political economy, application of Jewish chiliasm. The chosen people, the bearer of the messianic idea, or, as it was later called in Christian sectarianism, the “People of the Saints,” were replaced by the “proletariat” with a specific proletarian soul and a special revolutionary mission. from the sign of class or belonging to the proletariat, or the situation in the production process.